Friday, February 28, 2014

Math Links for Week Ending Feb. 28th, 2014

At first glance I wasn't sure about this new 3Acts from Dan Meyer but then I got to the end of this video and totally loved it. So good for anyone teaching ratios. And I love the text messages a la Sherlock (as a nice added touch). Now to get the full 3Acts files you will have go to Dan's site and become a member but its worth it. 
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MPM1D, MFM1P

I am always looking for data and professional sports has a wealth of it. Especially now that they are making the bulk of it public. Check out the data that can be found here on this site from the NBA. So many different types of data that surely would be of interest so some young boys (and maybe some girls too). I really like the visual nature of the graphs. For example this one comparison graph can be customized for any number of stats and it always comes up with player pictures and definitions in real time. Thanks to Emergent Math for this one.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MAP4C, MDM4U

Do you need data to show that it is a better deal to buy a bigger pizza instead of a smaller one? How about 74,476 data points. I really have to learn how to program in Python. So many cool things that you can do. Anyway, if you want a cool use of data or a connection to area of a circle, here you go. Complete with interactive graph. And then if that data isn't enough they have collected pizza price data by US city. See that here.
Curriculum Tags: Gr8, MAP4C, MDM4U

From Yummy Math comes a post about movie ticket prices over the years. Movie data is one of my favs. Especially when you couple ticket price data (from Box Office Mojo) with box office record data like the top grossing films of all time (from Movieweb) . Because the thing about records like that is that they will likely always be broken for two reasons: 1) ticket prices will always go up (so less tickets need to be sold to accumulate the same total) and 2) there are more people available every year to go to movies.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MAP4C, MDM4U

I know the show Numb3rs has not been on the air for years but that doesn't mean you still can't use it to make connections between math curriculum and the show. And so here are a couple of sites that take every episode and connect it to the actual math used.
Curriculum Tags: All

One of the expectations in grade 9 math is to develop the formula for the volume of a pyramid. If you have the proper manipulatives then its easy. If you don't then this video will do the trick (too bad the music is a bit cheesy). Thanks to Erina Shkodra for this one.
Curriculum Tags: MPM1D, MFM1P

The connection to math may not be obvious right away for this one but I think all of the double negatives means you could use this to simulate multiplying by negative one repeatedly and thus either have a positive or negative answer. Thanks to Dale Wilson for this one
Curriculum Tags: Gr8

This clip from the movie Pay it Forward could be a great introduction to exponential growth. Whether it be in Grade 8 or even as a minds on for dealing with exponential functions in grade 11 or grade 12. Thanks to Andrena Misener for this one
Curriculum Tags: Gr8, MCR3U, MAP4C, MHF4U

Friday, February 21, 2014

Math Links for Week Ending Feb. 21st, 2014

This past week the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing held its annual grade 9, 10 & 11 math contests (Pascal, Cayley & Fermat). They are great contests and you can see the archives here. I really like how they are written so that just about any math student can find some success but only the best can get them all right. That being said, one nice feature on the site is their Problem of the Week. They have a set for grades 5/6, 7/8, 9/10 and 11/12 that they create. Sign up to get them emailed to you each week.
Curriculum Tags: All

How to Learn Mathematics: for Teachers and Parents is an online course created by Joe Boaler from Stanford. Based on the latest research, this is the new version of last year's How to Learn Mathematics. By all accounts last year's course was awesome (I just didn't have the time in the summer to take it). This year one of the differences is that it's not free ($125). The course is self paced and you have any time between June 15th and Sept 15th to complete it. The course is made up of 8 sessions and it is anticipated that each will take 1-2 hours. As the title suggests, this is for teachers and parents but eventually there will be a course for students as well. For more info, follow the link.
Curriculum Tags: All

More in the "why I like Desmos" series. They have done a lot to making the boringness of domain and range a lot more interesting for students. And this time here is an example that combines both domain & range and transformations. That is, an animated version of Pong.
Curriculum Tags: MCR3U

Its been a few years since I have done this but its worth mentioning. The Barbie Bungy is a great activity. It has shown up many places on the net and here is the latest (with mention to some of the others). The perfect activity for when you need to have a fun way to look at scatterplots and extrapolation.
Curriculum Tags: MFM1P, MPM1D

A few weeks ago there was a Numberphile video about why people don't like math. I think this essay really adds to that theme. The premiss is that you never took math in high school since all you probably did was algorithms. Thanks to mike's math page for this one.
Curriculum Tags: All

Forget Moneyball and Big Data and watch out Nate Silver, the punch cards are coming. Not sure how real this is but its got that kitchie 50s feel that using data to model basketball game play only could have.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

I like this Tumblr for images that help visualize mathematics. Some cool stuff here. Some are animated gifs, others have information to go with them. I like this one that Dan Meyer pointed out about the connection between Fibonacci and Pascal's Triangle.
Curriculum Tags: All

I love this graph about how Lego's revenues have increase since it started licensing characters from movies that is made out of Legos
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MDM4U, MAP4C

This is belated but still fun
Curriculum Tags: All

Friday, February 14, 2014

Math Links for Week Ending Feb. 14th, 2014

It's Valentine's Day today so why not have a post with carderoids in them. Thanks Desmos.
Curriculum Tags: All

Trig identities a can be and issue as their abstractness can be a hurdle for many kids. Don't get me wrong, I think it's important for our kids to be able to work in abstractions but if there are ways to make topics less abstract than they need to be, then I think that's a good thing. That is why I like this post about a graphical way to get to the Pythagorean trig identities. Well done.
Curriculum Tags: MCR3U

I love learning stuff about things I like. For example, to day I learned you can import pictures into Desmos from Mary at the M^3 blog. I love doing this with Geometer's Sketchpad (my premade sketch is here) but now that I know Desmos does it that gives a nice alternative. Although I do like my sketch because it has a feature to scale the axes so that the equation actually has a connection to real measurements. So take a look at this blog post and if you want some more images to use, you can look at some I have collected here.
Curriculum Tags: MFM2P, MPM2D, MCR3U, MCF3M, MBF3C

There is nothing like a real contextual problem to expose the problem people have with probability (a lot of "prob's" in that sentance). Here is the context. You are taking a medical test that is 95% accurate when people have the disease (in this case cancer). So this means there are 5% false positives. If your results come back positive, should you be concerned? The counter intuitive result is "no". John Allen Paolos wrote about this 4 years ago (and just retweeted it now) in the context of mammograms. So here's the scenario: 95% accurate when people have cancer, 99% accurate when people don't have cancer and assume that 0.5% of the 100,000 person population actually have cancer. I will leave it up to you to do the math or you can just click on the link below.
Curriculum Tags: MDM4U

I think one of the best things you can do for students is not give them the answers. To take Dan Meyer's tag line "less helpful". I realize that this is totally counter intuitive to teachers. Most of us got into teaching because we like telling people how to do stuff. So when a kid asks a question (or gives an answer that is wrong), it is a natural reaction to just give them the answer (or just say 'nope'). But why not, instead, lead them to the answer or at least have them reveal their thinking (even when they are correct). That is why I like this post from Andrew Stadel so much. It gives tips on how to approach those situations in ways that will best benefit the student.
Curriculum Tags: All

For any of you teaching conversion from metric to imperial (and vise versa), this video from Matt Parker gives a nice overview of the logic behind the imperial system.
Curriculum Tags: MFM2P, MBF3C, MAP4C

Friday, February 7, 2014

Math Links for Week Ending Feb. 7th, 2014

Function Carnival is a new set of activities developed by Desmos with the help of Dan Meyer and Christopher Danielson. With these "Students watch a video. They try to graph what they see. Then they play back the video and see how their graphical model would be represented as an animation." These are great activities that provide a nice way to look at position-time graphs. A few of the features I like are

  • the fact that you create a class and then give your students the class code (to be used on the site With this class code you can then see each student's individual graph(s).
  • there are three very different scenarios (including a sinusoidal case) and each of the scenarios have an extension where students are asked what is wrong with a particular graph
  • the fact that they deal with graphs that are not functions (see image).
Given the different types of graphs I could see using this in classes that range from graphing in grade 7 to functions in grade 11. Not sure if more scenarios are on the horizon but check out Dan's post for a discussion around that.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7. Gr8, MFM1P, MPM1D, MFM2P, MCF3M, MCR3U

Holy flashback, Batman. It seems like such a long time ago that I worked on developing this resource with Mary and as it turns out it was a decade. It was a pretty polished product by the end with activities for several different classes and a DVD with live action from the classroom. This activity was a great on for developing sinusoidal function proficiency with grade 11 students. It was written with the last incarnation of the curriculum in mind (not the current) but it is still relevant. It's been a while since I taught MCR3U so perhaps that is why I forgot about it but I loved working with the CBRs with my students. Thanks for the reminder.
Curriculum Tags: MCR3U

I think Cathy Yenca nailed it with this statement "If you teach mathematics, your students have devices with internet access, and you’re NOT using ...." (insert online assessment tool here). A number of recent blog posts from different sources have all taken to talk about different uses and methods for doing this. Cathy talks about a service called where you can create your own free account and generate quizzes for your students.
On the Tap Into Teen Minds blog, Kyle gives us a way to use Google Docs to give descriptive feedback to students who have their own Gmail accounts.
And finally on the Reflections of a High School Math Teacher blog, the focus is on using a shared Google Drive folder as a means to get files to your students.
Curriculum Tags: All

Its always good to be reminded that even our best students can benefit from activities that may not be traditional. And what better course than what tends to be the pinnacle of high school math courses. Here's a great way to help with curve sketching by using highlighters.
Curriculum Tags: MCR3U

Why not finish this weeks resource section with yet another comment on Numberphile's infinite series = -1/12 video
Curriculum Tags: All

What is the probability of flipping a coin 76 times and getting a head? Those and other related probability questions are answered in these two related posts. I love the obvious connection to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Whether you like that connection or not its still a neat topic.
Curriculum Tags: Gr7, Gr8, MBF3C, MEL3E, MDM4U

As far as I can tell, this is a student doing this video about Phi. Kind of a combination of RSAnimate and Vi Hart.
Curriculum Tags: All

And if a little bit of Phi isn't enough, how about a classic: Donald in Mathemagic Land (the full movie). For a better version, click on the link instead of watching the embedded video here.
Curriculum Tags: All

How do mathematicians hi-five. Mathematically, that is. Take a look at all the possibilities here. Asymptote (below), completing the square, sine curves and more.
Curriculum Tags: All